I am writing this before Friday's game but if City have beaten Charlton yesterday it will amazingly be the first time since 2007 that the team have won four home league games in a row. That was the first four games of the Dowie era and although there have been numerous three-game runs in the intervening period the team have never won four. Back in October/November under Mark Venus the team won three league games plus a Checkatrade trophy game in a row, and we all thought the team would pull away from the foot of the table. It wasn't to be and now relegation is virtually certain – it may have happened yesterday or on Monday at Rochdale where the Sky Blues have got such a woeful record.
Long-suffering fan Dave 'Brammy' Bramwell attended the post-match party last Saturday and asked me a question about City goalkeepers. He wanted to know which 'keeper had made the most penalty saves during a season.
I'm pretty sure the answer is Joe Murphy who saved five penalty kicks from seven in 2013-14. Messrs Berrett (Carlisle a), Mooney (Leyton O h), O'Connor (Rotherham a), Lisbie (Leyton O a) & Judge (Brentford a) all had their spot-kicks saved by the agile Irishman. Information about penalty saves is patchy before World War 2 but since then several keepers have saved three in a season including Bill Glazier, Jim Blyth & Murphy himself in 2011-12. Glazier's saves were in that exciting but nail-biting 1967-68 season & his saves were all away from home & from stars of the day Denis Law (Manchester United), Charlie Cooke (Chelsea) & Francis Lee (Man City). Lee, especially, was renowned as one of the top penalty takers of that era & Glazier's efforts were outstanding. Jim Blyth saved three penalties in 1977-78, another exciting season when the Sky Blues scored 75 goals & narrowly missed out on a European spot. Jim saved from Liverpool's Phil Neal in a 1-0 victory at Highfield Road, from Leicester's Dennis Rofe in a 2-1 win at Filbert Street but his most crucial save was in the last minute of the 5-4 victory over Norwich City when he foiled John Ryan's attempt to make it 5-5. In 2011-12 Joe saved from Messrs Hunt (Reading), Martin (Ipswich) & Danns (Leicester).Joe Murphy
On Twitter this week Celebcelery asked if the Sky Blues had ever gone through a whole league season without scoring more than two goals in a game. With four games remaining (before the Charlton game) the team have failed to net more than two in a game and are closing in on a record they won't be proud of. The team has scored only 34 goals in 42 games and only Oldham (29) of the 72 Football League clubs have scored less.
Coventry City's record low number of goals in a season is 35, set in 1919-20 and equalled in 1991-92, but both campaigns were 42-game seasons. The club's lowest for a 46-game season is 41 in 2011-12, the Championship relegation year.
The low total number of goals is also reflected in the club's leading league scorers. Currently three players (Tudgay, Agyei and Sordell) are heading the chart with four goals. But with Agyei and Sordell no longer at the club and Tudgay's appearances, let alone goals, becoming as rare as hen's teeth, we have to look to George Thomas (3 goals) to try and overtake them in the remaining games and avoid another pitiful record. The lowest number of goals by a Coventry leading scorer is six. That was achieved in the club's Premiership relegation season when Hadji, Hartson and Bellamy all managed six. Two seasons ago Messrs Nouble, O'Brien and Samuel each scored six to top the scoring charts.
I have to mention the immutable law of the ex, as the famous football writer Brian Glanville described it, which struck in last week's 2-0 defeat at Bramall Lane. Numerous ex-City players have scored against the Sky Blues but until the trip to Sheffield only three had managed it this season (Mark Marshall, Chris Maguire and Jacob Murphy). Then within five minutes Leon Clarke and John Fleck both netted for the Blades for a unique record – never have two ex's scored in the same game against the club.
Although John Fleck has had an outstanding season Leon has been unable to hold down a regular place and before the City game had netted only one league goal. Predictably however he came off the bench to score against City to follow up his two goals for Bury against us last season. Then on Saturday Clarke and Fleck were at it again, scoring the goals at Northampton that clinched promotion for the Blades.
It was another great Legends Day last Saturday at the Peterborough game with over 40 former players watching the Sky Blues notch their third home win in a row. The crowd, 10,441, was the second largest home crowd of this miserable season. There were several factors for the high attendance – cheap tickets, a post-Wembley euphoria and hopefully the draw of seeing our former players.
Six of the 1966-67 squad were in attendance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of winning the Second Division title – Bill Glazier, Mick Kearns, Dietmar Bruck, John Tudor, Ronnie Farmer and Dudley Roberts but Bobby Gould had to pull out at the last minute after his mother died. The CCFPA's thoughts are with Bobby, Trevor and the family.
The highlight of a great day was to receive an award recognising ten years as chairman of the Former Players Association from one of my heroes Roy Barry. To be recognised by my fellow committee members and the association's members was a very special moment for me. Thanks to everyone.